Is Iowa's stopgap measure request in trouble?

DES MOINES - On Thursday, news came out of Washington that President Trump is intentionally stalling approval of Iowa's request to fix its individual health insurance marketplace. Local 5 has obtained more information from the governor's office about that exchange.

According to a Washington Post article, "Trump’s message was clear, according to individuals who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations: Tell Iowa no."

Local 5 spoke with a representative from the Iowa Insurance Division Thursday night, who directed us to a statement from the governor's office sent out earlier in the day. The representative told Local 5 that the conversation the newspaper is referring to took place back in August, and that communication between the White House and Iowa insurance officials remains open.

"The Governor's Office and Iowa Insurance Division are in constant communication with the White House and CMS, seeking approval on our state's Stopgap Measure," said the release.

The measure ensures that 72,000 Iowans have access to affordable health insurance in 2018. The governor's office acknowledged that this is a short term solution, and there still needs to be a long term plan.

There is a 30 day comment period on the state's Stopgap Measure application, and that period ends October 19, according to the governor's office. Open enrollment begins November 1.

President Trump has said in speeches and on social media that Republicans should "let Obamacare fail." By not approving Iowa's stopgap measure, thousands of Iowans would see their premiums skyrocket and likely see the last of three companies pull out of the state's individual marketplace system.

 

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